Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Team Meeting Deja Vu

A few months back I attended a meeting to discuss the illustration plans for an article revision.  What struck me about this meeting was I experienced a 'deja vu' moment-old and yet new. We call it a team meeting—the idea being that it takes a well chosen team of individuals to do what no one person can do alone.

Maybe you have something like it. For you it might be a client who has a small business. He or she needs your talents to create or enhance their business identity. You take notes for the design brief you will present. Maybe it's your account executive, and design director with you presenting your proposal in a corporate board room. You use Power Point, Keynote or Flash animations to help your client choose the best solution (which might not be the one you really like) based on your research.

After this kick-off session, you gather resources while the editors (or your copywriter) refine the text. With the help of staff or freelance photo editors, illustrators, photographers, media artists, and stock image sources, you and your 'team' choose the most appropriate visuals and get your client's blessing. You (or a staff/freelance production designer) create final files. Approval is secured, prepress or you preflight the media and files are delivered for print, web, and mobile devices.  Later you celebrate the completion of the job, and the joy of a shared collaboration with your team.

That's the ideal, and for me anyway, that's been the way things have worked out many times. The faces may have changed during my career, but the goal of presenting authoritative, accurate information in a way that our end users can understand (in our case, students from K to 12) is the same.  I appreciate the support I've gotten from my teams of the past, and the teams I serve with today. Perhaps you will take a minute to write a note, email or make a call to express your thanks to those who have been on your 'team'.

Books currently on my smartphone: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain; "100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People" by Susan Weinschenk, Ph. D.; and "Bobby Flay's Bold Flavors" by Bobby Flay.

Follow up on World Book's World of Animals App: the free download period has expired, but you can purchase the app for your iPad (or a friend's) at a very reasonable price. Check it out in the App Store!
Next post: what does a story about a Civil War soldier have to teach us about design?

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